Brownies, Funeral Food, and Hatterstrong.

A friend of mine died last week, too soon, and he will be deeply missed by so many, but most especially his wife, children and his family. This was a week of intense, and often spontaneous emotions, whether it was tears of sadness or deep belly laughs of joy when sharing stories and experiences, all of us had something positive to say about this guy, he was a man of deep convictions, his unwavering belief in the goodness that was within everyone, made us all want to be better people.

And of course we all want to do something…to help the family and close friends in their time of need, but also to keep busy, anything but sorrow.  Sadly, I can only do one thing, and that is, I cook, so I was thrilled when I was asked to bake something for the get together after the service.  I used to think that funerals were for the living, a necessary ritual that brings people together to begin the grieving process.  But this funeral was different; as Mark was different, special in so many ways, over 1200 people filled the church to honour a man who so positively affected  many lives.  My  small and humble contribution to the celebration of his wondrous life was a simple  tray of brownies;  he liked  brownies.  it doesn’t matter what funeral rituals are practiced, as long as there is a time for mourners to gather together to share stories, to talk, to drink, to eat; like a communion, it is our last shared meal with the one who has gone.  Gone but never forgotten…

This is a recipe that I’ve had it seems like for ever, this recipe can be easily doubled, it is delicious. In honour of my friend, Mark Hatt…copy this recipe, share this recipe, but more importantly, make this recipe, bake, eat and enjoy!

Brownies

1 cup salted butter

1/2 cup cocoa

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. instant espresso powder

1 cup dulche de leche mixed with 2 tbsp. flour

Oven to 350 F.  line a 9X13″ pan with parchment paper

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the cocoa.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar,eggs, vanilla, salt and espresso powder, stir to combine, make a well in the centre and add the butter cocoa mixture.  Stir well, and pour into prepared pan. in a small bowl, mix the dulche de leche with the flour, using a tablespoon, drop roughly nine spoonfuls of the mixture onto the brownies, swirl with a fork to incorporate the dulche into the brownie batter.  Bake 35 minutes.  let cool completely.

If you really want to make these over the top, glaze with a bittersweet chocolate ganache.  using a ratio of one part chocolate to one part heavy cream, heat cream to the boiling point, then pour over chopped chocolate, stir well to combine, pour over brownies and let cool completely before slicing.  These are rich so slice into bite size pieces.

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